Call for ban on oil, tobacco, arms shares

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The Council has voted unanimously in favour of the divestment of local government pension pots from arms, oil and tobacco companies.

Sinn Féin’s Ruairí McHugh moved that the NI Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee should divest its scheme from these industries immediately.

£ms contributions for Council, Education Authority, NIHE, Magee, City of Derry Airport, NWRC and Ulsterbus workers remained invested in fossil fuels, cigarettes and defence, according to NILGOSC’s holdings at March 31, 2019.

Colr. McHugh said: “Funds should be invested in a sensible, morally ethical and economically prudent way. That approach means we believe human rights considerations should always be incorporated into investment decision. That is why we believe as well as divestment from fossil fuels, this should also include the arms trade and tobacco.”

Alliance’s Philip McKinney said: “The massively negative environmental effects of fossil fuels are now clear. We must take all possible steps towards a more eco-friendly way of life.”

People Before Profit’s Eamonn McCann, addressing the arms industry, said: “If someone said to me, ‘Looking back on your life what are you most proud of?’ My part, with Colr. Donnelly, who was up there with us as well, in driving Raytheon out of Derry is the thing in my life which I take most pride in.”

The SDLP’s Mary Durkan said: “Three weeks ago we supported a motion on a climate emergency. Now we have to do something practical about it.”

Independent Councillor, Gary Donnelly, backed the motion and referred to illegal settlements in Palestine: “We also need to make sure we are not investing in companies that are on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) list.”